The Leonard Florence Center for Living truly extend residents’ lives by fostering independence through the use of cutting-edge technology and continued engagement in the community.

In fact, the Center takes care of more ALS residents under one roof than any place else in the world. Through the PEAC automation system, immobilized residents are able to move around the building with relative autonomy. They can control the lights, turn on the TV, open doors and raise window shades —all due to an electronic automation system that can be carried out through eye- movements or brain waves.

"Love the privacy of having my own room and bathroom. Love the cleaning and the staff. The social worker Taylor is amazing to me and my family. Very dependable."
Prudence Hileman

The hearth at The Slifka Residence at Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, Massachusetts


Developed in partnership with the Central New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Slifka residence devoted to residents living with multiple sclerosis.

Steve Sailing with his vaccination sticker


A talented landscape architect, Steve Saling was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 at the age of 38 given a life expectancy of 2 to 5 years. Today, 16 years later, Steve resides at the Center, having changed the way people live with ALS. It was Steve’s dream was to create a place where people with ALS could receive care yet live a “normal” life. Together with Chelsea Jewish Lifecare CEO Barry Berman, they created the Steve Saling ALS Residence for Long-term Care, which is equipped with the latest computer-operated technology to allow individuals with ALS the most amount of independence possible.

Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA


The third neurological specialty residence, this house is named after Richard “Dapper” McDonald, a native of Middleboro, MA, who was diagnosed with ALS in November 2008, this residence pays tribute to Dapper’s courage, spirit, and zest for living. Dapper never slowed down or stopped going to work; he passed from ALS a short nine months later.

Stein Family Center for Well Being


Imagine never leaving your room, never having a shower, never going outdoors. Most people on ventilators are confined to one room – one bed – for months at a time. The Stein Family Center for Well-Being, housed on two floors of the Leonard Florence Center, is the only Green House® ventilator program in the country. Ventilator care requires awake assistance 24 hours per day, which requires a specially trained team around the clock.

Offering state-of-the art portable ventilators, these 20 spacious private rooms, feature one-of-kind ventilators with a unified respiratory system that makes it easy for residents to switch and customize therapies, creating an easy-to-manage system. In short, these ventilators offer greater mobility and the opportunity for socialization, enhancing the quality of life for our residents.

2019 Walk for Living at Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA

October 15, 2023

The 2023 ALS & MS Walk for Living will take place on Admiral’s Hill on Sunday, October 15, 2023. Join Us!


What are the Major Differences between the Leonard Florence Center and a Traditional Nursing Home?

Just about everything at Leonard Florence is different! The Green House model of care is designed to provide care in a home-like setting. There are no nursing stations or continuous paging of staff members. Residents sleep as late as they want and go to bed as late as they want. There are no institutional dining rooms, but rather a separate dining room, fireplaced living room and open kitchen in each specialized home. The door to each “house” looks like the front door of a home, and the waiting area outside by the elevator even has traditional wood siding, a mailbox and a doorbell. Using centralized technology through the PEAC system, residents who are restricted in movement can open doors, raise window shades and call for the elevator. Each program is customized to the individual resident.

Do Residents in the Specialized Homes Receive Medical Care?

We offer a skilled clinical team that includes doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and dieticians. Our staff is one major advantage of the Center. We offer round-the-clock care and close monitoring of each resident. Each staff member is very familiar with how quickly health situations change for people living with ALS. Residents often experience a wide variety of challenges related to weakened swallowing and respiratory muscles, including difficulty managing saliva, coughing and clearing secretions. Consequently, it’s imperative to take steps to avoid any respiratory infections. At first sign of any abnormalities, the medical staff members will assess the situation as well as perform on-site x-rays, blood and cardiac tests. Our on-site services eliminate the frequency of hospital stays and, with it, increased risk of infection. In the past, this type of advanced skilled nursing care has not been available to nursing home residents.

Does LFCL Accept ALS Residents Who Need Round-the-Clock-Ventilator Care?

The Leonard Florence Center is one the few skilled nursing facilities around the country that accepts individuals on ventilators. Since ventilator care is only available in a nursing home facility or in one’s own home, options are limited for those who need ventilator care. All residents on ventilators reside in the Steve Saling Residence. The Center’s advanced technology and equipment, combined with a highly trained staff, enable ventilator residents to get out of bed, take showers and socialize. The residents often go to the movies, sporting events, cultural outings and trips to such places as Disney World and Maine.

Can Family and Friends Visit?

Absolutely! One of the key advantages of the Center lies in the warm and welcoming gathering spaces. Guests are welcome 24 hours a day in the café, chapel, outdoor patio, living room and dining area. Family and friends are encouraged to visit, stay overnight, share meals and take part in the many activities. We want our residents to maintain their close social relationships.

Why are There So Few ALS Homes in the Country?

Due to the high cost of cutting-edge technology and round-the-clock advanced care, operating these types of residences is extremely expensive. The expenses are funded partially by MassHealth, Massachusetts’ version of Medicaid. The balance is covered by donations from Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, the non-profit organization that operates the Leonard Florence Center. Currently, there is no cure for ALS, which is why Chelsea Jewish Lifecare is committed to supporting individuals with these diseases by providing the highest quality of life possible. Philanthropy is key. Help us open more specialized residences so we can continue caring for those who live with us today as well as admit more people with ALS and MS. Partner with Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. Please make a donation now! Go to or call 617-721-7379 for more information.

Skip to content